Tampa Drug Trafficking Defense Lawyer
Hillsborough County federal criminal attorneys ready to fight for you
Drug trafficking is common in the Tampa area, in a large part due to Florida’s proximity to international ports of trade. However, related charges aren’t restricted to high ranking criminal organizations. Unaffiliated individuals can face criminal charges that are just as severe as the charges imposed on cartel members or large-scale drug dealers. In fact, trafficking charges and penalties have recently become more strict than ever across the board, as federal organizations like the DEA impose stricter laws. For this reason, why you should always seek out an experienced drug trafficking attorney in Tampa immediately after you’re arrested.
Serious drug-related charges are prosecuted at both state and federal levels. This can mean longer prison sentences, multiple counts of the same charge and substantial fines. For more than 35 years, Joffe Law, P.A. has built a track record of successfully defending clients from these charges. Knowing your rights can help you protect your freedoms and way of life. Understanding what constitutes a federal drug trafficking charge can help you gain a better understanding of the severity of your situation and decide how best to proceed.
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How are related charges handled in Tampa?
For decades, Florida has been considered a central point in the United States drug trade. It has more than 8,000 miles of coastline and multiple major ports of entry. Being that Florida is a hub of substance abuse, drug trafficking charges are more common here than most other states. In all states; however, it’s considered to be a federal offense. This is due to the fact that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is a federal agency that operates on a federal level. Federal charges are much more severe than state charges and carry stiffer penalties, including longer prison sentences and higher fines.
Drug trafficking involves the sale, delivery, purchase, transportation or possession of controlled substances. The amount and schedule class of the substance in question usually impact the outcome of a case. Additionally, the circumstances surrounding the offense will be taken into consideration. Many individuals do not realize that simple possession of controlled substances may lead to federal charges. Alternatively, being found in the company of others who are involved in active trafficking may also result in serious charges and penalties. This means that if you are found to have certain amounts of controlled substances in your possession or in your home, you are in danger of being charged. In Florida, the DEA has been actively attempting to prevent instances of trafficking and often takes suspicious related activity seriously. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time may also lead to allegations. Make sure to retain a highly qualified drug trafficking defense lawyer in Tampa before speaking with investigators.
How are trafficking charges proven?
You cannot be convicted of a drug trafficking charge without sufficient evidence. Sufficient evidence includes knowingly being in possession of controlled substances. Your intent is the first thing that must be proven when allegations have been raised against you. Intent will, in many cases, involve a pattern of conduct, meaning that the circumstances surrounding your individual situation will be taken into account. If you have previous charges of drug possession, for instance, your intent will be questioned. If you have never been convicted of federal drug-related charges before, you may have a better chance of avoiding future charges. Other patterns of behavior will also be examined, like your business records and any prior record of criminal behavior. Additionally, evidence must be provided of intent to distribute illegal substances. For example, if you are found to be in possession of a scale, multiple plastic bags, an unregistered cell phone, large amounts of cash or other suspect materials, you are more likely to be charged with a related offense as opposed to a crime of simple possession. Witness testimony may also be used against you in cases where drug trafficking charges may be imposed.
What penalties may be imposed?
Charges of federal drug trafficking come with more severe penalties than charges of possession. Because this is an offense that is punishable by federal law, allegations are almost always brought before the federal judiciary system. For a charge to be federal, it usually involves allegations of controlled substances being moved across state lines. Even individuals who operate as small scale drug dealers may be charged if they have been found guilty of moving illegal substances across a state border. The severity of sentencing will hinge on the type of controlled substances in question, the scale of the operation and an individual’s past offenses and criminal history. For example, marijuana trafficking charges can come with three years in prison and fines of up to $100,000. Methamphetamine or cocaine trafficking charges may carry up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000. Because charges and sentencing are dependent on the available evidence, the circumstances surrounding an offense, and the past and criminal history of the defendant, having an experienced Tampa drug trafficking defense attorney by your side can have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case. Counsel may be able to help you form a better mitigation and defense strategy and thus negate many potential charges. Sentencing is no laughing matter and should be taken seriously.
If you have been accused of or suspect that federal allegations may be brought against you, it’s critical that you contact an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a professional, the more likely you will be to avoid or reduce potential charges. The Tampa drug trafficking lawyers at Joffe Law, P.A. have decades of experience defending clients in Tampa, FL, and throughout Hillsborough County a from charges of this kind. Our firm has the extensive knowledge and expertise necessary to handle serious federal allegations of this nature. Joffe Law, P.A. can defend your rights and help you build a better mitigation strategy so that you can reduce or entirely avoid certain federal drug charges.